This partnership’s debut recording of French repertoire for Pentatone (7/14) left a most favourable impression, which is now enhanced further still by this even more adventurous successor. Kazuki Yamada, the OSR’s dynamic young Principal Guest Conductor, draws playing of felicitous polish, captivating flexibility and winning application throughout what is a most imaginative, distinctly moreish programme; indeed, on first acquaintance, I listened to the whole disc twice for sheer pleasure!
Two of the three comparative rarities chosen by Yamada were designed as tributes to the Waltz King: Korngold’s fetching Straussiana (his orchestral swansong from 1953) draws upon material from the 1892 opera Ritter Pázmán and its three linked dance-movements (a polka, mazurka and waltz) really do fall on the ear in most ingratiating fashion, while Busoni’s hugely engaging Tanz-Walzer (completed in October 1920 and premiered by the composer and the BPO the following January) serves up a wealth of canny resourcefulness and spicy harmonic incident. Written in 1908 but not orchestrated until 1920, Schreker’s Ein Tanzspiel comprises a lusciously romantic, gorgeously decadent 12-minute suite in four movements, its very Viennese glitter, opulence and glow savoured here.
No grumbles, either, with Yamada’s superbly attentive and disarmingly spontaneous handling of the Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome or his conspicuously lissom, beamingly affectionate way with the Rosenkavalier waltz sequence. All of which just leaves Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No 1, which emerges as freshly as the day it was conceived in this excitingly clean-limbed, infectiously communicative account. Tremendous sound, too, from the Pentatone production team working in the marvellously accommodating acoustics of Geneva’s Victoria Hall. An undoubted treat – and more soon, please.